EHR Selection: Making the Final Decision

Having carried out software demonstrations, request for proposals and many hours of analysis you should now be able to make a final decision on your EHR selection. It is never that simple though.

Know that no EHR system will give you everything you desire. When you find a great system that meets the needs of your practice, you will likely have an issue with the cost being higher than you hoped. Remember, you are looking for a system with a high value to your clinic. If your clinic can afford to pay for the system (even though it is not your cheapest option) and you feel it will add value to your practice, then it is likely the right choice, even if the finance department disagrees.

Final Decision Factors

One of the factors that will affect your final purchase decision will be how well the clinical, operations, and administrative team members responded to proposals and demonstrations. Foremost, you want your clinical staff members to feel they have their needs met. Give their opinions high merit, as the clinicians will be using the system day in and day out.

If you select an EHR system based on user needs, you will have greater user buy in. Simple as that. Your clinical staff members will be pleased you met their needs and this sense of acknowledgement will spread throughout the practice.

If you select an EHR system based on user needs, you will have greater user buy in. Simple as that.

You must also determine timelines for staff training. You will need to identify the EHR vendors on your shortlist that can provide ongoing staff training for regular intervals for several months. The vendor should also have readily available customer service support via phone or internet conferencing. Analyze what technical equipment you have and what equipment you may need to purchase to institute the new system. Hopefully you chose a system with your hardware landscape in mind, but if not, ensure you identify where your current systems fall short.

The EHR Contract

When you have identified your preferred vendor and determined they can meet your clinical system and training needs, you will need to create a software contract. Many vendors have their own software contracts pre-produced for adding new clients. If this is not the case, you may choose to create your own software contract with the help of your practice legal team.

Recommended Reading: EHR Vendor Directory - your independent, up-to-date guide to EHR vendors

Your contract document must include information regarding pricing and payment plans. You will likely pay an implementation cost upfront and then pay for continued use for each user on SaaS-basis unless you have opted for a perpetual license. Review the document and be sure to include specifics about your practice, including number of users, locations, and billing specifications. Have your lawyers review the document for completeness and to ensure all specifications are met.

Once the software contract is complete and finalized, you can look forward to the next phase of your EHR journey; the looming specter of implementation.

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Amy Vant

About the author…

Amy Vant is a doctor of physical therapy and clinical director for an outpatient physical therapy clinic in the United States. She has experience utilizing and implementing many forms of medical documentation through various healthcare practice venues. Amy enjoys writing about healthcare administration strategies, including electronic health record systems.

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Amy Vant

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